this is "nightline." >> tonight, fighting words at the big republican debate. as donald trump's rivals attacked. did they bring down the controversial gop front runner? >> i'm donald trump. >> tonight, how carly fiorina entered the boys' club and did jeb bush do enough to save his struggling campaign? >> more energy tonight, i like that. >> on the front lines of the new and rarely seen fight against isis. people risking their lives to save priceless treasures now caught in the crossfire. we are in syria for the race to protect history from an illicit trade funding terrorists. cosby's accusers. actresses, models, more than 50 women have accused bill cosby of sexual assault, drugging or rape. while the comedian denies the
allegations and has never been charged, that is not stopping these women from sharing their story. first the "nightline 5." >> do you suffer from constipation or irregularity? trust kulcolax. try it free. dulcolax tablets are comfort coated for gentle coated relief. designed for debeadable relief. >> i take prilosec for frequent heartbu heartburn. because you can't beat zero heartburn. the sweet taste of victory. >> prilosec i ot
tonight's big republican debate. heading into the event, trump was actually talking about toning it down a bit. so did that happen? not quite. >> i wrote "the art of the deal." i say not in a braggadocious way. >> reporter: after an uncharacteristic attempt at modesty in his opening statement it took just minutes for donald trump to start engaging in his trademark verbal trench warfare. >> first of all, rand paul shouldn't even be on this stage. he's number 11. he's got 1% in the polls. his visceral response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly. my goodness. that happened in junior high. >> reporter: battling began with kentucky senator rand paul and then wisconsin governor scott walker leapt in. >> mr. trump, we don't need an apprentice in the white house. we don't need an apprentice in the white house, we have one right now. >> reporter: all this hours after this interview trump gave to the christian broadcasting network in which he said this.
>> i think i could tone it down a little bit when pressed. when somebody hits you, you can hit a little less hard. i think i could tone it down a little bit and i'll try. >> reporter: tonight, tauping it down was not to be. especially when it came to the former front-runner and frequent trump target, jeb bush. >> i think he's a very low-energy person and i don't think that's what the country needs. >> i didn't want -- >> excuse me one second. >> no. the simple fact is, donald -- >> more energy tonight, i like that. >> i think he woke up in moments. i think his finest moment was when he turned to trump and said, you should apologize to my wife. >> to subject my wife into the middle of a raucous political conversation was completely inappropriate. i hope you apologize for that, donald. >> no i won't do that, because i said nothing wrong. i do hear she's a lovely woman. >> i thofs that's his finest moment. i think he did better than his last debate. i don't know if it's enough to get his trajectory back in a positive direction. >> reporter: the clash that this evening will perhaps be best
remembered for came with carly fiorina, the only woman on the stage. a woman about whom donald trump recently told "rolling stone" magazine, look at that face, would anyone vote for that? >> we are the majority of the nation. >> reporter: in response to which fiorina has been running these ads. >> this is the face of a 61-year-old woman. i am proud of every year and every wrinkle. >> mr. trump later said he was talking about your persona, not your appearance. >> i think women all over this country heard very clearly what mr. trump said. [ cheers and applause ] >> i think she's got a beautiful face and i think she's a beautiful woman. >> all right on that note -- >> reporter: trump and fiorina, the former ceo of hewlett-packard, also went at it over their respective business records. >> the company is a disaster. and continues to be a disaster. they still haven't recovered. she can't run any of my companies. that i can tell you. >> mr. trump, i find it quite
rich that you would talk about this, you ran up mountains of debt as well as losses using other people's money and you were forced to file for bankruptcy not once -- >> i never filed for bankruptcy. >> not twice, four times. a record four times. why should we trust you to manage the finances of this nation -- >> i tell you -- >> any differently than you manage the finances of your casinos? >> carly -- >> reporter: fiorina wasn't included in the main debate last time on fox news. tonight she made the most of her air time weighing in on everything from putin to planned parenthood. >> as regards planned parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, i dare hillary clinton, barack obama, to watch these tapes. watch a fully formed fetus on the table. its heart beating. its legs kicking. while someone says, "we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain." this is about the character of our nation. and if we will not stand up and
force president obama to veto this bill, shame on us. >> i thought carly fiorina was the clear winner tonight. i thought her answers were crisp, her answers were clear. she took on everything in her record, foreign policy. i thought she was by far the standout tonight. >> reporter: that notion bolstered by fresh stats out of twitter. the company telling us the two most-tweeted moments of the night were fiorina responding to trump about her looks, and talking about planned parenthood. the question the next few days will be, will fiorina's performance tonight change her standing in the polls? as of yesterday in a national poll, she was at 4%. trump was out front at 27%. followed by dr. ben carson. a pediatric neurosurgeon who's been on the rise of late. tonight, however, dr. carson was not heard from that much. >> i think he kind of disappeared. i don't think he hurt himself. he definitely didn't help himself like he did in the last debate. it's probably a wash for him tonight. >> reporter: with so many
candidates vying to distinguish themselves, tonight was a potential make or break opportunity. they've all been preparing for days honing their lines behind the scenes. and then in the hours leading up to the event, prepping in their own ways, rand paul firing guns. >> we're all in and i'm ready for combat. >> reporter: jeb bush attending church with his wife. >> rayed to my creator to be strong. >> reporter: it wasn't all republican on republican brawling on stage tonight. there was plenty of hillary clinton bashing as well. >> she does not have a track record of accomplishment. >> she believes in the systematic of children in the womb. >> this administration with president obama and hillary clinton has created insecurity the likes of which we never would have imagined. >> reporter: she weighed in on twitter in response to trump's comments about fiorina's appearance. >> i think she's got a beautiful face and i think she's a beautiful woman. >> reporter: clinton tweeting, @realdonaldtrump
should stop complimenting women and start respecting them. by far the most question coming out of tonight will be, did trump help or hurt himself? the early analysis we're hearing at this hour is not good for him. >> i think donald trump probably is going to drop in the aftermath of this poll, mainly because of his mannerisms and facial expressions and how he treated the other people on stage. i think this performance would have been fine the first debate, but now that time has gone by, i think people are expecting more. i think he hurt himself in the course of this debate. >> if you can't get enough of this republican road show, fear not, the next debate is coming up in a mere six weeks. up next here on "nightline," the new front in the war on isis, the risky race to save priceless artifacts. as the terror group mounts a campaign of destruction. plus some of bill cosby's accusers now coming out and sharing their stories publicly. e could protect you from diabetes? what if one sit-up could prevent heart disease?
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it's gotten squarer. over the years. brighter. bigger. it's gotten thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. the war against isis is being fought in many ways. on the military front, on the propaganda front, and as you are about to see, in the corner of a dusty museum where people are
risking their lives to save ancient artifacts before isis can destroy them or sell them to fuel their campaign of terror. here's abc's alex marquardt. >> reporter: once known as the pearl of the east, damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. ♪ >> reporter: we've just come through what was actually rather light security by the entrance to the old city. and today as life goes on here, for a moment you can forget that this is a country at war of more than four years. in the past few minutes, two large booms in the distance. the fighting raging all around this city. just 15, 20 minutes away. war in syria has already claimed 250,000 lives. millions more forced to flee their homes. now it's also a race against
time to save the world's treasures from being erainsed from syria forever. isis spawned from the conflict in this region. they've made it their mission to destroy anyone or anything that stands against their extremist ideology. isis proudly documenting their heartbreaking acts of destruction throughout the region. the ancient city of palmyra is their latest target. one of the most important archeological sites in the world. criminal gangs taking advantage of the chaos, working with isis to loot these sites. >> isis sees this cultural heritage as exmightable resource. isis loots what it can sell. isis will then destroy, for propaganda pumrposes, what it cannot sell. >> reporter: satellite imagery shows such sites covered in holes dug by looters, the
proceeds being used to fuel the fighting and extremism. >> reporter: we've come to damascus to see what's being done to rescue syria's heritage. because damascus is the most secure city in the country all the artifacts that are at risk are brought here to the national museum. we're on the way to meet the team whose job it is to rescue those treasures. the national mu seep has been closed to the public, eerily quiet. >> you see this case and all the other cases emptied out. >> reporter: there is corner of the museum where the work is in overdrive. for these young archaeologists this is their front line against isis. >> how valuable are these pieces in syrian archaeology? >> precisely. >> reporter: this is from 3,000 b.c.? >> yes. >> reporter: these are some of the 300,000 objects saved from all over the country. >> this is a hive of activity,
very methodical, but moving very fast. the last step, pack delicately into these chests to be taken to top-secret locations we're told are known only to a handful of people in syria. all the artifacts we're seeing are from the eastern part of the country. this area has some of syria's most important archeological sites and everything here was pulled out as isis was advancing. the team fired on by militants last year as they frantically loaded the artifacts onto trucks. for the biggest items that can't be moved, cement boxes are being built around them. the work these archaeologists do often puts their very lives at stake. just last month, professor al assad was publicly beheaded by isis for refusing to swear allegiance and not revealing hidden artifacts. >> this garden is very important -- >> reporter: the man leading this mission, dr. be a bule
karek abdul kareem. >> the strategy to hide objects. because we don't know when the cites sister will finish. >> reporter: while touring a third century reconstructed synagogue, abdul kareem tells us his mission is not political, despite working for the assad regime. >> your message is, we're trying to protect the world's heritage? >> exactly. it's not just syrian heritage. it's your heritage. you cannot disappear all civilization, jewish, christian, muslim. we have one humanity, civilization for all the people. it's our duty to preserve this together. >> reporter: sharing in that duty, even those who oppose the assad regime. >> both sides of the divide, they go out there and risk their lives. this link is going to be what we need once this conflict is over. >> reporter: from ohio, professor amaer al azzam helps oversee a team of monuments men, volunteers working on the other side of the front lines, even undercover in isis-held territory. but 92 matter how hard they work to protect and track these items the global trade in looted
antiquities is booming, fueled by demand from buyers abroad, as far away as london. >> everyone here is probably going to be affluent and purchasing expensive things -- >> reporter: professor mark altawil is an expert in what he calls blood antiquities. >> the scale is massive. it's certainly funding a lot of armed groups or armed groups in the conflict. that to me is the great tragedy of this. it's leading to the utilization of the past to destroy the present. >> what prices are we talking about? >> large mosaics can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. certainly these objects have tremendous value. >> reporter: he says most of the illegal trade occurs online. >> it says "syrian." >> and other objects could be from syria. >> reporter: though not all items can be traced to looting, he wants the sale of all antiquities out of syria to be stopped. >> people are not seeing the connections, that antiquities are now funding vie length. violence.
that is a huge game change arer that's affecting people's lives. >> will you be taking this out? >> yeah. >> reporter: in ka damascus the professor claims the vast majority of syria's artifacts are safe for now. but every day he receives more reports of more pillaging and more destruction. he called himself the saddest antiquities director in the whole world. >> of course we are sad. we are tired. but we need to be more strong. we need to have some hope. to continue our work. >> reporter: i'm alex marquardt in damascus. >> our thanks to alex marquardt tonight. we want to tell you, you can immerse yourself in the streets of damascus with an exciting new visual 3d experience we launched today. check out abcnews.com/vr. next on "nightline," with bill cosby facing allegations of abuse stanning five decades, we're going to hear from some of those women coming forward tonight.
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finally tonight, hear bill crosby's accusers. more than 50 women have alleged the once-beloved tv father drugged and/or sexually assaulted them. cosby has denied these allegations and has not been charged with a crime. but tonight we're going to hear from many of those accusers directly. >> they kept saying to me, you're so beautiful. you want to be an actress? oh, you would be terrific, we have to introduce her to cos.
i said, who's cos? >> i first met bill cosby in the mid-'80s. i was in my early 30s at the time. >> i first met bill cosby in 1969. >> in the early '70s on the set of "uptown saturday night." >> in 1976. >> in 1984. >> in 1989. >> i was an aspiring comedy writer. >> i was a flight attendant for american airlines. >> i was a singer/songwriter. >> full-time international model. >> bill cosby was a titan. he had so much power. >> i was just a small-town girl. >> i had just turned 20. >> i was 23 years old. >> i wasn't going to go up against goliath. >> the kind of perpendicular i was dealing with would destroy me. >> he told me he better never see my face or hear my name again. >> from that day forward i never said anything else. >> this is a template for the almost-perfect crime.
>> we're going to rectify it for him. >> we have a right to speak our voice. i don't need people to validate my opinion and what happened. what i need to do is tell my story. >> and "cosby skroor: the women premieres at 9:00 thursday. tune into gma first thing in the morning. as always we're online 24/7 on our night like facebook page and at abcnews.com. thanks again for watching and good night.